In a major win for motorists traveling the Princes Highway between Bairnsdale and Stratford, Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) has agreed to a number of changes to the road safety barrier project currently taking place.
The stretch of highway has been subject to significant backlash following the installation of centre line and roadside barriers for months now.
The changes include:
- No roadside barriers to be installed on approximately 25 kilometres of road eastbound (where they were planned to go) allowing cars and trucks to get off the road when they pull over;
- More truck and car pull over areas to be installed where there are side road barriers;
- Increased visibility at driveways and intersections by removing some barriers already installed adjacent to these areas, and;
- The old ripple strips that cause vibrations to be fixed.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull met with the Minister for Roads last week and last Friday drove the road with the RRV chief regional roads officer, the regional director and local project manager.
“I am very pleased to say a few changes have been agreed to, based on the community’s feedback and strong advocacy,” Mr Bull said.
“Due to the enormous amount of feedback to both my office and RRV, we have been able to get some significant changes, so I sincerely thank all who made the effort.
“While locals will realise these changes are common sense, it was good to be able to drive the road, stop at locations where required and explain the concerns.
“The fact we will now not have these side barriers on more than half the eastbound trip where they were planned to go is significant and the road and driveway intersections will be made safer in relation to the visibility of traffic, with barriers being taken out to make the gaps bigger.
“Importantly we will also have more pull over areas for trucks, buses and cars that previously could simply not get off the road?
“I now look forward to these changes being implemented to the original designs that were presented to the public.”
Mr Bull said he also raised concerns over the road surface quality where what was previously shoulder quality road would now take heavy traffic loads.
“I was advised that ‘geotechnical investigations before construction found the road shoulder pavement was suitable for traffic’,” Mr Bull said.
“This is different from the advice I have received from ex road workers and roads experts, so I guess time will tell on that one, but they have been told.”